Manhattan Avenue Couch

September 22, 2007 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Beware of Bedbugs!

I spied the above sign on a couch gracing Manhattan Avenue yesterday afternoon. This wayward home furnishing was— of all places— conveniently located in front of the Mark Bar. Given my feelings about the previous establishment, I can only hope it was used as outdoor seating by the numerous patrons who see fit to congest the sidewalk with their cooler than thou selves.

Bedbugged Couch: 1025 Manhattan Avenue

Maybe it was simply waiting for the bus? Williamsburg residents, you are about to be visited by some very special Greenpointers. No need to thank us, we like to share.

Miss Heather

P.S.: When I walked by an hour later someone had torn the plastic off. Dumbass.

Stoop Sale Round-up

September 21, 2007 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

This week I noticed a number of flyers advertising stoop sales for this Saturday, September 22nd. Given the end of stoop sale weather will soon be upon us, I thought it would be nice to list them here for any interested bargain hunters.

Flea Market

Mary D’s

I have been to this flea market before and frankly I was unimpressed. But that was two years ago, who knows what this one will be like?

Mary D’s Housing for Seniors
80 Dupont Street; flea market will be conducted in the parking lot/community room located off Eagle Street. (between Manhattan Avenue and Franklin Street)
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Furniture Sale

103 Oak Street

Next up, a rather big furniture sale is in the works at 103 Oak Street. It starts at noon and appears to be a great opportunity to buy much-needed home furnishings and/or housewares on the cheap.

103 Oak Street (between Franklin and Guernsey)
Noon – 4:00 p.m.

Stoop Sale

112 Java Street

Not too much information here, but I personally get excited when I come across stoop sales that feature books. I always end up schlepping a bunch home— which I am always less than excited about.
112 Java Street (between Manhattan Avenue and Franklin Street)
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Clothing Sale

North 10 and Berry Street

North 10th Street and Berry is hardly a schlep to most of us Greenpointers… especially if it means we get designer clothing on the cheap. That gives us more money to buy beer!

Intersection of North 10th and Berry Street
11:00 a.m. – ???

Happy Bargain Hunting!

Miss Heather

Toilet Paper: How To Use It

September 21, 2007 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Just yesterday in this post I bitched about the chronic lack of toilet paper at my job. Well, when I came in today I was pleased to discover this issue had been addressed. Sort of.

Toilet Paper

Aren’t you supposed to wipe your ass and then put the paper in the toilet?

Miss Heather

Belvidere Street: The New Freeman?

September 21, 2007 ·
Filed under: Bushwick, Greenpoint Magic 

I recently had to moderate a most curious comment regarding my latest post about Freeman Street. Jeffrey writes:

I actually don’t find this entertaining or funny. I live on Freeman and have a kid, and I am so sick of people acting like idiots around here. 100 Freeman is an illegal loft building. They never shovel their sidewalk in winter. A few weeks ago, we saw a guy doing crack on the sidewalk outside the building at 2 in the afternoon. People never pick of dog shit on Freeman, and I’m not pointing fingers, but there’s a lot of dogs in that building. Why can’t people grow the hell up! I’m about to move to Park Slope with the other adults.

When I was looking to move seven or so years ago, Greenpoint was on my list of neighborhoods to research. In order to make an informed decision as to whether or not I would commit to moving here, I made numerous trips to the neighborhood and walked around. I like to get a feel for what I might be obligating myself to ahead of time. My main criteria were:

  1. Access to transportation
  2. Good grocery stores
  3. Personal Safety

Greenpoint passed with flying colors, but I also noted there were a lot of drunks, crack heads and overall chicanery to be found. This was the compromise I had to make. I have learned that waiting for people to “grow up” as Jeffrey put it, is a fruitless effort. Most don’t. Even Especially in Park Slope*. Which brings me to this, my final and finest Freeman Street story.

It was 2:00 a.m., and after a late dinner and cocktails, my friend Chin needed to walk her dog. I went to bed (a decision I regret to this day, read on and find out why); my husband accompanied her. They went to Freeman Street. As they approached Manhattan Avenue they saw something moving on the sidewalk. Assuming it was a homeless person, they paid it no mind. Fifteen feet away they finally noticed what it was— and it noticed them; it was two people fucking. Right on the sidewalk. Outside of Tommy’s Tavern. Twenty feet away from Manhattan Avenue.

It was an awkward moment for everyone involved: the fucker, the fuckee, my husband, my friend— even her dog.

The point I am getting at with this story is this: weird shit happens here— and some of it is funny. To expect things to change is, in my humble opinion, ridiculous. This is New York City. If someone sees fit to fornicate al fresco, he (and/or she) is going to do it. The previous is not exclusively a Greenpoint avocation either.

Pump and Shit

Looks like something happened.

Blue Condom

Safe sex was involved.

Yellow Condom

Quite a bit of it.

Broken Pump

And it was good enough to break the heel off a nice shoe. Wow.

Of course the punchline is where I found the above tableau…

Belvidere and Beaver

The intersection of Belvidere and Beaver Street in… drumroll please…

Bushwick.

Miss Heather

*Go to The Tea Lounge and see for yourself.

American Sugar and Refining Company

September 21, 2007 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

Before I left the house this morning I read this article on Brownstoner about the Havemeyer family. Here’s an excerpt:

Cousin Frederick C. Havemeyer Jr. (1807-1891) stayed in the sugar trade and in 1857 established the longstanding South 3rd Street factory on the Williamsburg waterfront. His son, Henry Havemeyer (1847-1907), named the company Domino’s Sugar in the early 1900s and worked to corner the market. His Sugar Refineries Company, or “Sugar Trust,” functioned like Standard Oil–monopolistically (and like Standard Oil did battle with the government over makret (sic) control).

What many people do not know is the Havemeyer family had a refinery in Greenpoint. And if this article (from the May 9, 1886 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle) is any indication, the employees there were not very happy ones.

Now jump forward to 11:30 this morning. I was sorting and pricing fabric remnants at work and found this.

Sugar Bag

Although this item has virtually no monetary value whatsoever, it has a lot of value to me. A lot of hard, thankless work went into filling this bag. I wonder what a worker of Havemeyer’s American Sugar Refining Company would think of the current controversy regarding his former place of employment? I doubt he would be very happy— or surprised.

If there is a lesson here it is this: never confuse a building with its creator. The Havemeyer family was as nasty an employer as could be had in the 19th century. Union busting was one of their favorite practices. We can’t change this building’s past, but we can shape its future.

Domino should offer ample affordable housing, not crumbs.

Miss Heather

Shitty Subway Service Breeds Bolsheviks!

September 20, 2007 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

When I got to work today I found a poster tucked away behind the counter that amused me.

Where to buy this poster

It goes on to read:

Employees lose respect for a company that fails to provide decent facilities for their comfort.

Speaking as a person whose place of employment is often bereft of asswipes, I am inclined to agree. Nothing makes me want to overthrow my capitalist oppressors like using the water closet only to discover there is no toilet paper. When the revolution comes, the people responsible for this (men all) will be the first ones against the wall, I assure you.

As I waited for the G train this afternoon I thought about other things that propagate Bolshevism. Then I saw the following piece of social(ist) commentary scrawled out on a subway poster at the Metropolitan stop and it hit me: the crosstown local propagates Communism!

Bad Commutes Breed Bolshevism

Think about it:

  1. When you have subway line whose service is notorious for being pokey, it gives people time to think.
  2. When people start thinking, they tend to get angry. I do, anyway.
  3. Now factor in the people waiting at the above-mentioned station are, in all likelihood, highly-educated, underpaid and already very, very angry.

I turn pink at the mere thought!

If the MTA won’t improve subway service in north Brooklyn for the numerous (and very good) reasons they have already been provided, perhaps they will do so as a bulwark against Communism? Nassau Avenue has gone red. Metropolitan Avenue is looking rather pink nowadays. Who’s next? Broadway?

Best to nip this in the bud before it works it way further south.

Miss Heather

When Advertecture Attacks: Bushwick Style

September 20, 2007 ·
Filed under: Bushwick 

Today’s example of legally questionable signage hails from Bushwick, 11206.

Your health is our concern

Call me cynical, but obstructing the windows of an apartment building strikes me as being rather unhealthy. Especially in the event of a fire. Those of you who care to view this exercise in irony (and poor product placement) can find it at 593 Bushwick Avenue.

593 Bushwick Avenue

I realize the previous is a pretty obscure thoroughfare*, so I have thoughtfully linked to a map lest anyone from the Department of Buildings (or the F.D.N.Y.) cares to investigate it.

Miss Heather

*This is sarcasm.

271 Nassau Avenue

September 20, 2007 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

It would appear that the chaps at 271 Nassau Avenue were busy quite busy last night. Per an email I received from Rebecca11222:

Since 9:30 p.m. a cement mixer & a pump truck have been operating 3 houses away from me. Condo going up at 271 Nassau Ave (at Sutton St). Lights in my window & noise of a FUCKING CEMENT TRUCK. It’s now almost 11pm. I called 311 & reported the perps to both DOB & DEP. No variance posted, of course. We all know what good will come of my report. Motherfuckers.

This is all.

This is just plain ridiculous. Is it just me or does the illegal after-hours construction problem here seem to be getting worse?

Thoughts anyone?

Miss Heather

143 Huron Street

September 19, 2007 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

143 Huron At Dusk

I took the above photo at 7:15 this evening. It was not on my agenda to photograph the Greenpoint skyline tonight; the gentlemen working at the above-depicted construction site deserve full credit for making that happen. At 7:00 p.m. I was reading in the bedroom when I heard a major ruckus. It was the sound of metal being pounded with a great deal of force— possibly by a riveter. I crept out of the bedroom and peered out the living room window. Nothing. Just noise.

“Fucking Magic Johnson!”

I mumbled under my breath as I climbed the stairs to the roof. I look at 110 Green; no workers are to be found. I redirect my attention to 143 Huron Street. CLANG!

Man at work

There’s my guy! Yes, I realize this photo is hardly a smoking gun, but it was the best I could get given the lighting (I had to open the aperture a lot) and my camera. From what I could tell there were two men working in there. One where the arrow is— he was the one making the noise— and another one to the far left. Perhaps they thought no one could see them back there? Why would someone need to? You could fucking hear them a block away!

Naturally, I called 311. I filed a complaint about noise (with the DEP) and another one about illegal after-hours construction (with the DOB). The operator told me someone had filed a similar complaint a short time earlier; I insisted mine be added. I wrote the case numbers on my dry erase board. Tomorrow I will forward them (with a letter giving a brief description of what I beheld— or more accurately, HEARD) to Community Board 1.

I strongly recommend that any/all Huron Streeters out there who also experienced the delightful din this evening (and reported it to the city) follow suit.

Community Board 1
(meets second Tuesday of the month)
435 Graham Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 389-0009
(718) 389-0098

Miss Heather

Montrose Avenue Mystery

September 19, 2007 ·
Filed under: Bushwick, Dog Shit Signage 

As I reported last month, even Bushwick’s dog shit signs are getting a face lift in anticipation the numerous “hip” and “affluent” people who will (undoubtedly) flock to this up and coming neighborhood. Hell, when I see a masterpiece like this it makes me want to tell my landlord to go fuck himself and hop on the next B43 bus. Just kidding.

Anyhoo, as I was walking down Montrose Avenue today I noticed the now infamous sign at 165 has been replaced again!

If I catch you…

Note the use of red marker and black quotation marks. I’m not too sure what’s up with the black lines, though. Follows is a picture of its predecessor.

8/9/07

I have to say I prefer the typography on this one, but nothing beats the original.

3/20/07

If any of “you” yes, you know the story behind this latest change in signage please shoot me an email; I’m dying to know.

Miss Heather